A Letter from our President

 Art reflects the importance of migration stories

Maria Eggemeyer, Friends President

Dear Friends,

Each day as I drive by Mia on 24th Street, I see progress in the installation of Ai Weiwei’s art covering Mia’s massive columns. This work is unique to Mia’s exhibition of  When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Art and Migration, which originated at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Ai Weiwei’s installation of life jackets wrapped around exterior columns is a first for the United States.  His other life jacket installations have gone to such far-reaching places as the Berlin Concert Hall and the National Archives of Chile. The exhibition at Mia opened February 23 and runs until May 24.  

I was first attracted by the predominantly orange color of the life jackets, before they conjured up the current news of refugees crossing the Mediterranean, and past crossings of the Caribbean by Cubans. Ai Weiwei is a contemporary artist and dedicated activist who left China to escape the restrictions of Chinese society. He moved to the United States in 1981 where he attended the Parsons School of Design.

The January Friends lecture addressed migration with a talk by Tiffany Chung, internationally known for her multimedia work that looks at migration, conflict, and changing geographies in the wake of political and natural upheavals. Her work of maps, videos, and paintings reminded us of the importance of stories. During her talk she shared her own family story, including that of her father, who fought for the South Vietnamese military and was a prisoner of war for several years before he was released to the United States. 

Ai Weiwei’s “Safe Passage”, installed at Minneapolis Institute of Art as part of the exhibition “When Home Won?t Let You Stay: Art and Migration”.

The importance of migration stories, as told so vividly by art, beckons us to consider the current refugee crisis as a human crisis. At a training in preparation for Mia’s exhibition, University of Minnesota professor Dr. Jack DeWaard asked staff and guides whether we looked at immigration with economic logic, or as a human rights issue. He said that both had to be considered, but that we needed to choose one as the priority and then to include the other in the balance.

Between the recent exhibition on the Vietnam War, and this current exhibition on migration, Mia has given us much to search our souls. They’ve moved us to appreciate artistic expression, and to work together for the well-being of all of Twin Cities’ communities. Don’t miss When Home Won’t Let You Stay, and be sure to make your reservation for Debbi Hegstrom’s March 17 Friends Only program “Changing Viewpoints.” For this program, Debbi will guide us to look at art through a lens of critical thinking and cultural fluency—two important perspectives in the shifting geographies and demographics of today’s world.

Best regards,

Maria Eggemeyer

Friends President

Don’t forget the March Friends Lecture!

March 12, 2020 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Don’t miss out on revolutionary opportunities, the French Salon, and slanderous art critics at the next Friends lecture.

Please join the Friends of the Institute as former Mia curator Lisa Michaux speaks on  “Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, and Marie Bracquemond and the Impressionist Exhibitions.”

Life as an artist was a challenge for women in late 19th-century France. Banned from studying at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts until 1897, women had to find other means of artistic instruction. This lecture will examine the women of the Impressionist movement, and provide greater understanding of the social and historical factors at play in late 19th century France.

Lisa Michaux was a curator in Mia’s Prints and Drawings department from 1990 to 2010 and is now a private art consultant and dealer. She divides her time between Paris and Minnesota and loves all things French, despite her inability to master the language. Join us in welcoming her back to Mia!

Reserve your ticket through the link below or by calling 612.870.6323.

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Friends only tour with Mia’s Senior Educator

March 17, 10:50AM- 12:15PM, Mia First Floor Lobby

Ticket Price: Free

Join us for a FREE Friends Only tour developed by Debra Hegstrom, Mia’s Senior Educator.

Debra Hegstrom is Mia’s Senior Educator and oversees the docent program, which includes teaching, evaluating and coaching docents.  Debra is involved in exploring new gallery strategies that incorporate critical thinking and cultural fluency.

In this tour, we’ll examine various points of view by changing our viewing lens while looking at works of art.  Viewing art through more than one lens can offer us greater insight or a different entry point into the work. Debra received her MA and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.  We’ll meet at 10:50 in the upper lobby across from the gift shop.  The tour is limited to 15 to 18 people so contact the Friends Office ( / 612.870.3045) to register soon! 

March Book Club meets for Exit West

March 20, 2020 10:00 am


Art & Research Library

Ticket Price: Free


The Friends Book Club will meet in the Art & Research Library on the first floor of the Target Wing.  All Friends members are invited to attend.

The March selection will be the award-winning book, Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. Described as a visionary love story tracing the immigrant journey from homeland to an uncertain future in new lands, the story of Nadia and Saeed reveals the global perils that so many must face. 

Honors for this inventive work of fiction include Finalist for the Booker Prize and one of the 10 Best Books for 2017 by the New York Times Book Review.  The Review stated, “It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future…”

The discussion will be led by docent Bruce Robbins who holds a Ph.D. in Latin American history.  During his career he spent 30 years as a diplomat and teacher for the Methodist Church. Mia docents will guide members on gallery tours following the book discussion. 

Reservations are recommended. Please call in or email a reservation prior to the Friday meeting, or 612.870.3045.   Beverages will be provided courtesy of the Friends.

For further information about this Friends Only event please contact  We hope that you will join us!   


April Friends Lecture features MacArthur Fellow

April 2, 2020 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Titus Kaphar imagines a renewed and more nuanced engagement with American history in his April lecture “Making Space for Black History.”

Titus Kaphar


“Art is a language. There is always a narrative coded in the painting and sculpture. When you look at something, ask yourself, “who is represented and who is invisible?” asks Titus Kaphar.  A painter and sculptor, Kaphar is one of the country’s most exciting young artists. In 2018, he received a MacArthur Fellowship– a 5-year award given to individuals who show exceptional creativity and outstanding talent in their work. 

Kaphar imagines a renewed and more nuanced engagement with American history: envisioning new spaces for marginalized or forgotten bodies to enter and disrupt the evolving fabric of a culture. For this creator, the artist’s role is clear– to draw back the curtain on ignorance and deception and amplify the voices to those who cannot speak for themselves. 

Kaphar’s work speaks to issues around race, diversity and social change in America today. TIME Magazine commissioned him to create an artwork in response to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Recently, he worked with poet Reginal Dwayne Betts on The Redaction, which draws inspiration from lawsuits on behalf of people incarcerated because they cannot pay the court fees and fines. In Drawing the Blinds, Kaphar re-mixes the work of Classical and Renaissance painters to reveal forgotten figures. 

Kaphar’s works capture Roosevelt riding a horse and boldly staring into the future while nameless African Americans and Indigenous people walk on foot beside him. Who are the anonymous slaves, servants, and laborers appearing as footnotes? What values are being expressed by the constitutional monuments dotting our American Landscape? And why do we skip over chapters (entire peoples, entire histories) in our national narratives? 

To help support and give direction to the next generation of artists, Kaphar co-founded an arts incubator, NXTHVN. This $12 million nonprofit center and fellowship program nurtures rising talents.

Kaphar’s work has been included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Brooklyn Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and the Seattle Art Museum. He received an MFA from the Yale School of Art and a BFA from San Jose State University.

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Friends Love to Learn about Membership!

Are you a Friend? Join the Friends today!

Friends of the Institute members enjoy special opportunities to participate in:

  • Free monthly lectures by local, national and internationally known speakers 
  • Behind-the-scenes experiences in the company of other enthusiastic art lovers 
  • Docent and curator-led tours of special exhibitions at Mia
  • Annual Art & Architecture trips to artistically significant sites both in the U.S. and abroad

If you would like to be a part of this nearly 100-year-old organization, please join us!

Visit Mia’s 3rd Avenue Lobby Desk, call 870-612-6323, or visit to join today! 

Thank you!


Art in Bloom 2020 Dedications are now available. Honor friendship, love, or a beautiful memory as you help raise funds for Mia.











Each year, Art in Bloom features this lovely tradition. It’s easy to do!

Choose a level: 

The $50 Friends level includes a plaque with the recipient’s name placed on the pedestal of  the chosen artwork (each artwork will be limited to three dedications). It will also be placed on the Dedications insert to the Art in Bloom Program. 

The $100 Commemorative level includes a plaque placed by the chosen artwork (each artwork will be limited to three dedications) with the recipient’s name, your name and inclusion on the Dedications insert to the Art in Bloom Program.  $100 contributions will be given priority on artwork.

Choose Your Artwork:

Go to Art in Bloom Dedications webpage,  to view the artwork options and print out the dedications form. Artwork is available now. 

Mail your Dedication into the Friends Office:

Please mail the dedication form along with payment on or before Friday, April 3, 2020, to:

Friends of the Institute, Art in Bloom
Minneapolis Institute of Art
2400 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

For more information, call the Friends office, 612.870.3045, or email

Your fully tax-deductible donation supports the Friends education programs and busing grants for students to visit the museum.

Art In Bloom Call for Volunteers

The link is now live for Art in Bloom 2020 volunteer sign-up! Be sure to pass it along to your friends.








Art in Bloom 2020 is well underway, and volunteers are needed to make it all happen! There are number of ways to get involved, one of which is through the Art in Bloom pop-up shop. Here are some of the available positions: 

AIB Shop Floor Sales/Customer Service

AIB Shop sales/customer service associates will greet customers and answer merchandise questions and concerns. They should be comfortable with determining customer needs. We will encourage suggestion selling, so a helpful, engaging personality is best.

AIB Shop Cashiers

Duties for an AIB Shop cashier will include: greeting guests, ringing merchandise, and properly tendering sales. Comfort with retail sales is encouraged. An engaging personality with customers at the checkout point is important.  All training will be provided.

AIB Shop Baggers/Wrappers

Duties for a AIB Shop wrapper/bagger will include: wrapping delicate merchandise and bagging product in an efficient manner. Comfort with retail sales is encouraged, as well as an engaging personality that creates a fun atmosphere and shopping experience for the customer.

It takes every Friend to make Art in Bloom a success! Sign up here:

Remembering Friend and former Art In Bloom Chair Pauline Altermatt at this year’s Fashion Show

Pauline Altermatt, via Star Tribune

We’d like to invite you to join us in remembering Friend and former AIB Chair Pauline Altermatt, at this year’s Art in Bloom 2020 Fashion Show and Luncheon. 

For Art in Bloom 2020, Linda and Phil Boelter have generously begun a sponsorship drive with a lead donation to remember our Friend.  All contributions will be donated to the Friends Wheels on the Bus campaign, which brings thousands of school children each year to experience Mia’s world-class educational programming. Please add to this sponsorship by contributing whatever you wish in Pauline’s memory.

All contributors will be recognized at the Fashion Show and Luncheon on Friday, April 24, 2020.

Tickets to this event will be available beginning March 1 at 

To donate, you can mail a check or drop one off in person to:
Minneapolis Institute of Art
C/O: Friends of the Institute, Art in Bloom
2400 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis MN 55404

Note: Please put “Pauline Altermatt” in your check memo line.

Or, if you prefer, you may call the Friends Office (612.870.3045) to provide your credit card information.

Annual Art in Bloom Fashion Show and Luncheon Planned for April 24

April 24, 2020 10:30 am


Target Atrium

Ticket Price: $85-$175

Mark your calendars and get your tickets early for this annual Art in Bloom event featuring spring-inspired fashions and food!

Art in Bloom 2019 Fashion Show hosted by Grant Whittaker.

The Art in Bloom 2020 Fashion Show and Formal Luncheon is just around the corner. With your generous and sustained support, we continue to grow this event year after year. This spring we look forward to expanding the event, and with your help, its philanthropic impact. Please join us for another fabulous afternoon of fashion, music, and cocktails as we celebrate the spring season!

The Fashion Show & Formal Luncheon will take place on Friday, April 24, 10:30AM-2PM. Check-in begins at 10:30AM in the Star Tribune Atrium on the first floor of the Target Wing. Before the show, please join us for sparkling wine, a signature cocktail, and hors d’oeuvres in the Donna and Cargill MacMillan third floor Atrium. At 11:15AM, General Admission guests can begin gathering for the fashion show in Mia’s Contemporary and Modern Art Galleries. Around 11:45, the models will hit the runway. Immediately following, please join us in the Reception Hall for the spring inspired luncheon.

The Fashion Show is generously sponsored by the Galleria Edina and will once again be produced by internationally renowned stylist and fashion personality Grant Whittaker. We are also thrilled to announce that it will be included in the lineup for Fashion Week MN.

The Formal Luncheon is graciously sponsored by Linda and Phil Boelter and Friends, in memory of past Friends member and generous Mia supporter, Pauline Altermatt.

General admission tickets start at $85 ($35 tax-deductible) for early registration, and increase to $100 ($45 tax-deductible) after March 29, 2020. These tickets include one drink ticket for a signature cocktail, sparkling wine, or a non-alcoholic beverage during the cocktail event, general admission seating for the fashion show, and a seated lunch (gluten free and vegetarian options available) with wine. A cash bar will also be available.

VIP tickets are available for $175 ($100 tax-deductible). VIP tickets include express check-in, sparkling wine upon arrival, early admittance into the galleries, reserved front row seats for the fashion show, a swag bag, two sparkling wine or signature cocktail tickets, and priority seating at the luncheon. VIP tickets are limited, and tend to sell out quickly.

To purchase tickets and specify luncheon seating requests, please visit or call 612.870.6323. After you have purchased your ticket, you can also email Heidi Ault to confirm luncheon seating requests at

Art in Bloom raises funds to support Mia projects and Friends of the Institute initiatives, including educational programming and free transportation to Mia for young students, exhibitions, art acquisition, education, and community programs.